In 2012 The Philadelphia Songwriters Project celebrated it’s 10th year serving the region
Philadelphia Songwriters Project is the creation of Stu Shames and Dena Marchiony. Both performers and songwriters, who understood the travails of getting their work heard by a wider audience. Their vision was a space where songwriters could perform music in a comfortable and engaging atmosphere, where the audience could enjoy an intimate moment with the artist, able to hear lyrics and musical nuance.
Shames and Marchiony shared this vision with Barrymore- award winning Theater Catalyst Directed by Joe Karoly, in early 2003, who enthusiastically embraced the idea, taking the Project under their wing to give it its first performance space at the Adrienne Theatre.
The Playground at the Adrienne was our home for two years. Every 2nd Sunday we produced a showcase with 5 songwriters. Most of Philadelphia’s most beloved artists played with us when they were just starting their journey.
2003-The Songwriter Project launches it’s first show at The Adrienne Theater.
-The Project is named Philadelphia’s only ASCAP showcase site.
-Hosted a songwriters critique, and a major PR workshop with an esteemed panel that included: Tom Moon (Philadelphia Inquirer), A.D. Amorosi (Inquirer, City Paper, Style Magazine), Patrick Rapa ( Music Editor City Paper), Jessee Lundy (Talent Buyer from ‘The Point’), and Nancy Falkow (singer/songwriter).
-Provided music for The Dragon Boat Festival (Fox Chase Cancer Center’s major fundraiser) and OMAP Summer Concert Series.
-The Project receives its 501c3 status, and recruits it’s first Board of Directors.
-The Philadelphia Songwriters Project has extensive media coverage, and featured in: Philadelphia City paper, Philadelphia Weekly, The Metro, The Main Line Times, The Inquirer, The City Suburban News, The Trend, Comcast Newsmakers, 10! (the morning show on channel 10), WXPN, Main Line Today Magazine.
-PSP collaborated with Chester County Art Association to present “Beat of Art” series, Living Beyond Breast Cancer, to put music at their annual Yoga Fundraiser, Blue Sky Arts, to present a major concert and contest that resulted in the winners playing The Philadelphia Folk Festival & WXPN Singer-Songwriter Weekend.
– PSP produced the VOTE Music Festival, a one of a kind simultaneous festival occurring in 50 venues, in six counties across the region to increase voter awareness and registration. Major sponsors included, WPVI-TV, Philadelphia Weekly, WXPN, The National Constitution Center, The Eagles football organization, Bank of America, and BMI. 50 venues donated space and staff, and over 130 songwriters donated time toward this community effort.
-Dena Marchiony, Executive Director of the Project is elected to the Board of Governors of the Recording Academy (Grammy).
-Collaborations with the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, The Wilma Theater, The Bethlehem Musik Fest gave songwriters high profile performance opportunities. Our Kimmel Center performances “In the Plaza” prior to Bobby McFerrin, The Philly Pops, and Los Lobos, gave a diverse selection our songwriters the opportunity to perform for huge crowds.
-Launched a new membership initiative which resulted in over 100 new members in 2005. We tied our comprehensive educational program to member benefits and produced an exceptional monthly mentoring series in collaboration with Turtle Studios.
-We produced two master classes with award winning, chart topping writers and producers (Freebo, Ryan Tobey, Jim Photoglo).
-We launched a program for upper school students which brought songwriters into the schools for performances and intimate workshops.
-Dena Marchiony, is voted to 2nd Vice-president position on the Recording Academy (Grammy) Board of Governors.
- The formation of PSP Advisory Board, along with it’s Board Of Directors.
– The continuation of our mentoring programs and Master classes.
– The first of an epic three year project. Part 1: Songwriting Contest. The chosen songs will be re-arranged and set for choir and small vocal ensemble. PSP works with some of Philadelphia’s best choirs, arrangers. 12 songs were chosen, and a variety of educational events scheduled so the songwriters could be part of and witness the transformation of their songs into a new genre.
- This is the final year the mentoring series
-After almost insurmountable challenges of choirs, funding and venues falling thru at the last possible moment. The Gala Concert event of Beyond Measure was ready to be debuted. In April 2007 Beyond Measure, the 14 songs of the winners of the 2006 songwriting contest were performed by 7 choirs and small vocal ensembles. The event was a triumph, held at Church Of The Saviour in Wayne, Pa with 400 in attendance. It was an event that left everyone in awe of the mastery of the arrangers John Conahan & James Wade, the songwriters, and the choirs. It was a genre bending event, the first of it’s kind anywhere.